Ideological characteristics and origin of oriental horticultural therapy from the perspective of Chinese traditional culture

S.H. Li, X.F. Li, B.J. Chen, P.T. Xiang, X.L. Zhang
Originated in the early 20th century, horticultural therapy includes garden therapy, pastoral therapy, forest therapy, natural therapy, art therapy, and ecological therapy in a broad sense. In the academia, close attention has been paid to the positive efficacy and effect of modern horticultural therapy in the psychosomatic regulation and functional rehabilitation, and studies concerning horticultural therapy have reaped initial fruits. In the meanwhile, the overall trend of rational investigation and practical innovation contributes to the retrospect of the horticultural therapy development and points out the problems we must face in the future development and evolution mechanism of modern horticultural therapy by absorbing the essence of traditional culture and classical gardens. Compared with the western horticultural therapy, which is sprouted in ancient Egypt, originated in England, prevailed in Europe and America, spread to Japan and Korea and further developed, the oriental horticultural therapy, represented by China, is characterized by profound humanistic background and unique ideologies. With regard to landscape culture, the oriental horticultural therapy shares the same thought with traditional culture ideologically and comes the same practical way with classical gardens, which has been successfully applied in the design and construction of Chinese classical gardens. Based on the Chinese traditional culture, the present paper systematically investigates and expounds the origin and characteristic of oriental horticultural therapy from the perspectives of “farming culture”, “harmony between man and nature”, “Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism culture”, “solar term culture”, “seclusion culture”, “health preserving culture”, “Feng Shui thought”, and “ornamental horticultural culture”, in an attempt to achieve the contemporary interpretation of the traditional thought of oriental horticultural therapy, create a cultural context with Chinese characteristics for contemporary horticultural therapy studies and further provide the corresponding theoretical and research perspectives for the theoretical discussion and design practice of modern horticultural therapy and rehabilitation landscape.
Li, S.H., Li, X.F., Chen, B.J., Xiang, P.T. and Zhang, X.L. (2021). Ideological characteristics and origin of oriental horticultural therapy from the perspective of Chinese traditional culture. Acta Hortic. 1313, 41-52
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1313.6
Chinese traditional culture, oriental horticultural therapy, ideological characteristics, cultural origin